Backup and Restore Turn On or Off OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing Across Windows 11 Devices


  • Staff
OneDrive_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off OneDrive folder sync for your Microsoft account across all your Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices you sign in with the same Microsoft account.

You can use OneDrive to sync files and folders between your computer and the cloud, so you can get to your files from anywhere - your computer, your mobile device, and even through the OneDrive website at OneDrive.com. If you add, change, or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted on the OneDrive website and vice versa. You can work with your synced files directly in File Explorer and access your files even when you’re offline. Whenever you’re online, any changes that you or others make will sync automatically.

You can also back up your important folders (your Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders) on your Windows PC with OneDrive folder backup syncing, so they're protected and available on other devices.

When you select to back up a folder to OneDrive, the files in that folder (not folder) are moved to your "C:\Users\<username>\OneDrive\<same folder name>", and synced to your OneDrive on the cloud. For example: files from "C:\Users\Brink\Documents" moved to "C:\Users\Brink\OneDrive\Documents", and synced to my online OneDrive on the cloud.

References:

OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing requires OneDrive running and you signed in to OneDrive with your Microsoft account.



Contents

  • Option One: Turn On or Off OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing in Settings
  • Option Two: Turn On or Off OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing in OneDrive Settings


EXAMPLE: OneDrive folder backup syncing your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders



EXAMPLE: Select to restore synced OneDrive files from device during clean install with Microsoft account

Restore_from.jpg





Option One

Turn On or Off OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Accounts on the left side, and click/tap on Windows backup on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Open Backup Settings

This setting is not available for work or school accounts.


OneDrive_folder_syncing_Settings-1.png

3 Click/tap on Set up syncing or Manage sync settings for OneDrive folder syncing. (see screenshots below)

OneDrive_folder_syncing_Settings-2.png
OneDrive_folder_syncing_Settings-3.png

4 Continue at step 3 in Option Two.




Option Two

Turn On or Off OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing in OneDrive Settings


1 Click/tap on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar corner, click/tap on Help & Settings (gear) icon, and click/tap on Settings. (see screenshot below)

OneDrive_folder_syncing_OneDrive_Settings-1.png

2 Click/tap on Sync and backup on the left pane, and click/tap on Manage backup. (see screenshot below)

New_OneDrive_backup-1.png

3 Do step 4 (on) or step 5 (on) below for what you want.

4 Turn On Folder(s) to Start Backing Up to OneDrive

A) Turn On any folder(s) you want to backup to OneDrive, and click/tap on Save changes when finished. (see screenshot below)​

OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_on-1.png

B) Click/tap on View sync progress to see your OneDrive backup progress. (see screenshots below)​

New_OneDrive_backup-4.png
New_OneDrive_backup-5.png

5 Turn Off Folder(s) to Stop Backing Up to OneDrive

A) Turn Off any folder you want to stop backing up to OneDrive. (see screenshot below)​

OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-1.png

B) Perform one of the available actions: (see screenshots below)​
  • For the Documents, Pictures, Music, or Videos folder, click/tap on OK to confirm.
  • For the Desktop folder, select (dot) This computer only, and click/tap on Continue.
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-2.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-3.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-4.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-5.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-6.png

C) Click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)​

OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-2b.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-3b.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-4b.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-5b.png
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-6b.png

D) Perform one of the following actions for what you want. (see screenshot below)​
  • Provide feedback, and click/tap on Submit.
  • Don't provide feedback, and click/tap on Close.
OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-7.png

E) Repeat steps 5A to 5D for any other folder(s) you want to turn off to stop backing up to OneDrive.​

F) Click/tap on Close when finished.​

OneDrive_folder_backup_turn_off-8.png

G) When you stop backing up a folder, the files that were already backed up by OneDrive (cloud) stay in your account's OneDrive folder on your PC, and will no longer appear in the folders in your account's profile folder.​

In the folder that you stopped backing up, you’ll see an icon titled Where are my files that’s a shortcut to your folders in OneDrive. To access your files, click/tap on the shortcut to open the folder in OneDrive.​

If you want those files back in your device folder and not in OneDrive, move them manually from the OneDrive folder back to your device folder. Note that any new files you add to that folder on your device won't be backed up by OneDrive after you stop the backup.​

To move the files, click/tap on the Where are my files shortcut to open the folder in OneDrive, then select the files that you want to move to your device folder, and drag and drop them to that location.​

New_OneDrive_backup-6.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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Last edited:
Can a tutorial be added on preventing this folder from being created in the first place during W11 installation?

I followed the instructions in the W10 tutorial section but that removed ALL my MANY customized folders and shortcuts from my Desktop...even after rebooting it didn't appear.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA 1650 Ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo C32q-20
Can a tutorial be added on preventing this folder from being created in the first place during W11 installation?

I followed the instructions in the W10 tutorial section but that removed ALL my MANY customized folders and shortcuts from my Desktop...even after rebooting it didn't appear.

Hello mate,

This only happens if done while setting up OneDrive. It's one of those settings you have to be extra careful about. :(
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Hello mate,

This only happens if done while setting up OneDrive. It's one of those settings you have to be extra careful about. :(
Hi Brink. So how can we be "extra" careful not to install the dang OneDrive during installation?

In my case, I have done many W11 and W11 installations (all from an older .ISO) and this last go round (I had to be connected to the 'net) this happened. I can only speculate that when the OS (with latest version of the ISO) went to look for updates or register you, this is when OneDrive was installed (in the background). Unless I'm missing something?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA 1650 Ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo C32q-20
Hi Brink. So how can we be "extra" careful not to install the dang OneDrive during installation?

In my case, I have done many W11 and W11 installations (all from an older .ISO) and this last go round (I had to be connected to the 'net) this happened. I can only speculate that when the OS (with latest version of the ISO) went to look for updates or register you, this is when OneDrive was installed (in the background). Unless I'm missing something?

OneDrive is indeed included in Windows by default, but it's only when setting up OneDrive when you sign in to OneDrive.

If wanted, you can disable OneDrive to prevent syncing by mistake.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Hello mate,

This only happens if done while setting up OneDrive. It's one of those settings you have to be extra careful about. :(
Half the help forums like this one would cease to exists if OneDrive (and MS Outlook) ceased to exist. They are both far too ott for the average user if anything out of the ordinary happens or is required.

Hi Brink. So how can we be "extra" careful not to install the dang OneDrive during installation?
You can't stop it from being installed - it's an embedded part of Windows and MS Office. But you can stop it's evil insidious invasive ways. Immediately after installation, right click the OneDrive icon in the SysTray, and close it down.

Then,
- if you want to keep it (Why?), Task Manager > Startup, and stop it from running at startup
- if you don't want it (preferred option), uninstall it
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 22H2 (latest update ... forever anal)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Slim S01
    CPU
    Intel i5-9400
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT730
    Sound Card
    OOBE
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 32"
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2 x 1TB SSDs
    PSU
    OOBE
    Case
    OOBE
    Cooling
    OOBE
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    Classic Australian w.a.p.
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    KIS
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro (latest upadte ... anally always)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion 15
    CPU
    i7-1165G7 @ 2.80GHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVMe 512GB
    + numerous/multiple SSD Type C USB enclosures
    Internet Speed
    NBN FTTN 50
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    KIS
Half the help forums like this one would cease to exists if OneDrive (and MS Outlook) ceased to exist. They are both far too ott for the average user if anything out of the ordinary happens or is required.


You can't stop it from being installed - it's an embedded part of Windows and MS Office. But you can stop it's evil insidious invasive ways. Immediately after installation, right click the OneDrive icon in the SysTray, and close it down.

Then,
- if you want to keep it (Why?), Task Manager > Startup, and stop it from running at startup
- if you don't want it (preferred option), uninstall it
Sadly, this doesn't work. Everything is in C:\Users\Name\OneDrive.

How to change Windows to move everything back from C:\Users\Name\OneDrive to C:\Users\Name\ or C:\Users\Name\Desktop?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA 1650 Ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo C32q-20
Sadly, this doesn't work. Everything is in C:\Users\Name\OneDrive.

How to change Windows to move everything back from C:\Users\Name\OneDrive to C:\Users\Name\ or C:\Users\Name\Desktop?

Hello, :-)

If you turned off backing up to OneDrive, you should be able to manually move the files where you want them.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Hi Brink,

That's partly true. However, the path remains pointing to my D drive. I tried it a few times now despite moving everything to the pre-existing "C:\Users\Name\ Onedrive\Desktop" folder. I'd like to change that to permanently reflect C drive even if it's to the annoying Onedrive folder.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA 1650 Ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo C32q-20
Hi Brink,

That's partly true. However, the path remains pointing to my D drive. I tried it a few times now despite moving everything to the pre-existing "C:\Users\Name\ Onedrive\Desktop" folder. I'd like to change that to permanently reflect C drive even if it's to the annoying Onedrive folder.

Just to clarify, what path is pointing to your D drive?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Just to clarify, what path is pointing to your D drive?
Hi Brink, the path was on D:\Backup\OneDrive\Desktop.

I did some copying, pasting, deleting, and creating a Desktop folder back in C. I finally have my Desktop back where I think it's supposed to be without any reference to OneDrive.

What a major mess this is with Windows. I can't recall how I managed to get my OneDrive folder on D drive, but I must've created it as a pre-emptive measure because I need to re-image my laptop every 4-6 months (unlike with Windows 7 where I would need to do so about every 36-48 months) using the same applications (but updated).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA 1650 Ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo C32q-20

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